What Are Your "Non-Negotiables"?

Reading Oprah's O magazine a few months ago, I came across a feature on the "The Power of...." in different (famous) people's lives.....
the power of showing up, the power of style, the power of seizing the moment.
In this feature, the actress Jane Lynch spoke about The Power of Authenticity

She spoke about the four things which considers to be "non-negotiable" in her life - for her they were :

Boundaries, Commitment, Honesty and Food and Drink

It got me thinking about what my own non-negotiables were?
Having pondered this for quite some time, this was what I came up with....

Being Myself
I like to think that I am always myself.
I have good boundaries and a pretty clear vision of what I feel is best for me - and for my family.
I don't feel the pressure to do something just because someone/everyone else is doing it....
I know that it's perfectly okay to say no. 

I was recently in a situation where I knew that I was expected to say yes to something, something that I knew everyone else was going to say yes to  - but I really didn't want to do it, it just wasn't me.
So I said no. 
And I knew that those who were my friends would totally understand and not mind one bit....
and it didn't really matter what anyone else thought.

I was chatting about it this very issue to a friend last week and she said something along the lines of how she admired how what other people thought never seemed to matter to me.
My friend is someone regarded by everyone who knows her as an "alpha female", she's terrifically successful in her career, very accomplished and super-competent....
BUT she worries terribly what people think about her - even the people that she admits she doesn't like!! This seems to me, of course, absolutely crazy (and a waste of time) and I tell her this repeatedly! 

If you are decent, kind, considerate, have your own opinions and are happy to voice them in a positive way - and people still don't like you....then, I guess that's just life!

Being a mother, I also feel very aware of demonstrating to my children the huge importance of being your own person and staying true to yourself.
My children are both very socially able and both "group" people so I already feel that they are both pretty good at listening to others, empathising and sharing.

My son is a leader whereas my daughter is a follower - she's in a school class with some right little madams very challenging young ladies and I know as the teen years are fast approaching us, so the issue of peer pressure will become even more present.
All I can advise is be yourself, stay strong, go with your instincts - and not someone else's - because they are usually right.   

Good Manners  & A Little Consideration

Please and thank you.
Written thank you notes.
Good morning....how are you....have a good day....isn't the sunshine lovely?
Holding the door open for people, not pushing, apologising if necessary.
Recognising hard work, good work, generosity, selflessness.

Smiling. Making eye contact.
Please. Thank You. Smile. And repeat.

I've always been a reader, all my life.
When I was young it was my escape, I'd find a warm, quiet place and literally read all day, I visited the library 2-3 times a week.
I've been that person who has missed their train station because I've been so engrossed in a book.
I love books, they transport me, educate me, broaden my horizons, distract me....

I've had times in my life where I haven't read as much - when my children were little babies for example....although to be honest, even if it's midnight when I get to bed, I'll still read for 10-15 minutes.
I tell my children that reading is a gift and I truly feel that.

Books are my happy place, I always carry one with me,
I miss it when I'm not reading and my day is better when I get to pick up a book and lose myself, even if it's just for a short while.
I could do a day without coffee or bread but wouldn't want to do a day without reading.

Calm & Solitude

I live a busy life in a busy city, I am in the school playground twice a day, I am in the supermarket often, I have coffee with friends at least once a week in a busy coffee shop, I live within 5 mins at most of the majority of my friends. And I have two active children who love to talk!

I love being with friends but I absolutely appreciate solitude and my own company too.
I'll happily go to the cinema/for a coffee/out to lunch by myself  - unlike my husband who thinks it's pretty odd to want to do any of those activities alone!

I love the hustle and bustle of a city and wouldn't want to live anywhere else...
but I know I need total peace and quiet on a regular basis, a little calm, time where I don't need to talk, no music, just silence.
It centres me, grounds me, reassures me....connects me with myself.

Jane Lynch was a little more succinct with her words and descriptions of what each of them meant to her....
I long ago realised that I just don't do succinct!

My non-negotiables....
Being Myself
Good Manners & A Little Consideration
Calm & Solitude

What would your non-negotiables be, the things or the behaviour that are essential to your day and your emotional and mental wellbeing?

Happy Tuesday!



  1. WHAT a great post - i'm going to make a list of non-negotiables for myself now!!!!

  2. great post, impossible to answer without a long think! definitely with you on being myself
    PS I hope that none of the mothers of the 'right little madames' read your blog!

  3. I'll have to think about mine but, I would think that they are pretty similar to yours but with an added oldness !!!! hehe. Books-yes, love being with people-yes but love a bit of time on my own-yes. Good manners and consideration-yes and also to keep up certain standards. When I was younger I used to worry about what others thought of me but, the older I get, the less I care !!
    There are always some right little madams aren't there ? and, there will be a few more at senior school but your daughter will cope very well with your excellent advice.
    Have a lovely week Simone. XXXX

  4. What a beautiful list, Simone. Until one reaches a certain age I think we are always frantic with "busy-ness."
    Rushing around, going out, etc. It takes a grounded individual to finally recognize and accept their own personal likes/dislikes and what really works in their own lives. Your's are very important non-negotiables, ones we should all embrace. I love my Kindle, my IPad, my computer, my TV because I need to be informed, I love my alone time so I can create, I must have orderliness surrounding me, and I now realize I don't have to accept every invitation...in other words I can say "no" and be comfortable. Big Texas hug...

  5. You sound the loveliest of ladies...my non-negotiables...
    Yoga and Meditation
    Have a great week, Simone.

  6. Simone! I am so with you on the manners! A smile costs nothing and I am always the one to try and incorporate kindness when paying for stuff in a queue or ordering from a waiter. I can't abide when people are rude.

    But for me I would also add as my non-negotiables: traditions (shared history), good food (I spend SO much time pondering what to make for dinner!), my home (I need time in it, everyday, just to be. If I am out and about too much I get an odd feeling that something's not right). Being myself? Hmmm I wish I could take a leaf out of your book and be confident with what people think of me but I do struggle with that.

    I think my final one would be the psychology of things; I am fascinated by how I think and how others think. What makes people tick. People who ignore their instincts and their thoughts do so at their peril in my book! It's ALL in the mind!

    Great post...and take care sweet. Lou x

  7. This post is fantastic ~ something that I have not really thought about so now you have me sitting and thinking....

  8. What a wonderful post! I think you've got us all thinking now. I love how true to yourself you are - your friends are lucky to have you. Reading and Solitude would absolutely make my list. I think good food would as well. Ah Manners! So often lacking here in Boston. And Music. Sometimes I crave silence (especially with two loud little boys), but I need to listen to music every day and get such pleasure out of finding the right song to fit my mood.

    Love it!

  9. What a FAB post Sim.
    Gosh what are my non-negotiables?
    Would have to be my moments of calm and meditation every day too, manners and courtesy, my shower/pampering time in the morning (even Hubs is banned from asking me any questions whilst I'm having my shower and gathering my thoughts for the day), a calm breakfast, and not grabbing a piece of toast as I head out of the door.
    Really got me thinking Sim. I'm sure I have many more ;-)

  10. hi Simone - Happy new year to you. I would also need to think hard about what mine would be but I am with you on the calm. I find my children aurally not physically tiring. Sometimes I want to just say for the love of God please stop talking just for 1 minute! I worry about peer group pressure for my daughter too (also a bit of a follower). We will get through it together (in the sense that I will copy how you deal with it!)


  11. What a wonderful post. You now have me thinking of what my non-negotiables are. Thank you!

  12. Wonderful post! You have perfectly described my non negotiables, Simone - truly those are the exact items on my list! Much love, dear friend!! P.S. chugging away on the juice still! :) xxoo

  13. Simone I think everyone should make this list / and one especially for their relationships.

    An Open Heart
    A Spirit of Generosity
    Give each other our own space
    Respect each other and your opinions
    Lighthearted and make me laugh!

    You get the idea!


    Art by Karena

  14. Ok- this is one of your posts that just makes me feel blessed that we had our *London time/your gorgeous kids in tow moment*...as I am just smiling and thinking of you in Islington, and how these wise loving words remind me of that time we had together...

    I actually feel quite emotional that we didn't have more times...and quite surprised at my reaction to your thoughts on home- I am so in love with *your* city...

    I feel like that about Sydney- but a bit of my heart will always be in London...I so love that...

    M xxx

  15. Books are non-negotiable for me too.

  16. My father's famous words to me as a young girl were "Good manners are always stylish". How spot on he was/is.

    Read something each day.

    Always be learning.



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